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Walkable Schools Walkable Schools How Smart Growth Principles Can

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Presentation on theme: "Walkable Schools Walkable Schools How Smart Growth Principles Can"— Presentation transcript:

1 Walkable Schools Walkable Schools How Smart Growth Principles Can
Help School Districts and Kids Richard S. Geller Orange County District 1 Planning & Zoning Commissioner Jürgen Duncan Transportation Designer, Canin Associates Eliza Harris Urban Planner, Canin Associates Orlando Metro Coordinator, Congress for New Urbanism

2 The State of the Sidewalks Decline in Children Walking to School
McDonald N. , “Active transportation to school: trends among U.S. schoolchildren,” 1969–2001. Am J Prev Med. 2007;32 (6):509 –516.

3 Why Should We Care?: Health Childhood Obesity Increasing
“there are consistent findings that overweight and obesity are associated with poorer levels of academic achievement.” Taras and Potts-Datema. Obesity and Student Performance at School Journal of School Health Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention “the opportunity for physical activity within the school day affected the students’ performance in both reading and mathematics achievement” The Impact of Physical Activity and Obesity on Academic Achievement Among Elementary Students, National Council of the Professors of Educational Administration

4 Why Should We Care?: Safety
Motor vehicle crashes are U.S. teens’ leading cause of death, amounting to more than one in three deaths in this age group. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

5 Why Did Kids Stop Walking? Metro Orlando: #1 in Pedestrian Danger
Orange County Sheriff’s car hits 6-year-old pedestrian walking home from school The young girl, Marqueasha Sabrii Henderson, was walking with two of her sisters…. A driver honked their horn at the girl, which scared her and caused her to dart across the roadway. Crossing guard's funeral is today Crime Report October 24, 2009|By Henry Pierson Curtis, Sentinel Staff Writer Orange County An 80-year-old Orange County sheriff''s crossing guard fatally injured last week at his school-crossing post will be buried

6 Why Did Kids Stop Walking? Roadways designed for cars, not kids
Old Winter Garden Rd. School Crossing Lane Width = 12 ft. (same as an interstate highway) Roadways have been designed to move vehicular traffic as fast as possible to increase roadway capacity. Results: Unsafe and unpleasant for pedestrians and bicyclists.

7 Why Our Roads Are Dangerous Speed/Fatality Relationship

8 Why Our Roads Are Dangerous: Road Width/Fatality Relationship
Source: Swift-Painter-Goldstein study of traffic accidents in Longmont, Colorado

9 Safe Routes to School: Not Just Sidewalks
Sidewalks are an important element of the Safe Routes to School program BUT There is much more to it.

10 What Do Safer Streets Look Like More Than Just Sidewalks
A better and safer environment for kids to walk and bike. Separation of traffic from walkways Shade trees for buffer and comfort

11 What Do Safer Streets Look Like?
Celebration Elementary Narrow, Slow Roads On-Street Parking slows the traffic; School Incorporated into Urban Fabric; Windows place “eyes on the school” Bump-outs shorten crossing distance

12 How Can We Get Safer Streets?
21st Century Walkable Smart Growth or 1960’s Era Suburban Sprawl

13 How Can We Get Safer Streets? Connection / Capacity Relationship

14 The Suburban Disconnect
O.C. Code (1)(d): 65 acre H.S. sites (excluding retention) on “roadways suitable for high volume traffic.” (f). Olympia High School — Parking lot consumes about as much land as the buildings; disconnected from adjacent subdivisions; four-lane arterial requires driving;

15 Part of the Neighborhood
Winter Park High School—Built into the neighborhood; Small Parking lot compared to Olympia

16 Saving the $$$ Walkability Can Reduce District Costs
High School Road(s) Walkable? Bus Eligible Boone lanes Yes % Edgewater     3-lanes Yes % Winter Park   2-lanes Yes % Olympia           4-lanes arterial No % Freedom lanes arterial No % Dr. Phillips     4-lanes arterial No % Source: OCPS eh Estimated annual operating cost per school bus: $62,000

17 Respecting the Street & The Students
Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati, Ohio Attractive architecture Civic pride Student motivation Academic success

18 The Opportunity to Walk
Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati, Ohio - back of school incorporated into neighborhood without fences

19 Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati, Ohio
The Advantages Bus Pick-up and drop-off Alumni Funded Expansion Faculty Parking On-street parking Senior Parking Enrollment: 2,065 Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati, Ohio

20 Orient the School’s Main Entrance to the Street
Solutions Orient the School’s Main Entrance to the Street The side’s the front… …and front’s the side jd Windermere Elementary: Architecture invites drivers more than pedestrians

21 Which school would you walk to?

22 A Safer Alternative: The Modern Roundabout
High Speed Turns, Right Turns on Red Lights, 43 crashes (in 2009) and 115 Feet of Pavement View from Dr. Phillips YMCA. Dr. Phillips Elementary is caddy-corner. Vehicles travel at mph Reducing injuries 76% and fatalities 90% Source: Federal Highway Administration jd Windermere Roundabout

23 A Safer Alternative: The Modern Roundabout
Pedestrian Crossing: Current Plans: up to 115 ft. Roundabout: 26 ft. to island Two crossing guards can stop all traffic movement. jd Sidra Traffic Simulation Current motorist delays up to several minutes would decrease to between seconds

24 Designing Walkable Great Resources
ITE-CNU: Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares “Safe Routes to School” program website: Walkability / Bikeability Checklist

25 What Can OCPS Do? When the School District reviews master development plans Support interconnected, low speed, narrow streets and site new schools accordingly Allow on-street parking to absorb demand Adopt Smart Growth Schools Policies Work with local governments to allow flexibility for setbacks, minimum acreage requirements and road types Consider the neighborhood, walkability, and transportation costs when choosing whether to renovate or relocate an existing school

26 What Can OCPS Do? 3. Seek Alternative Funding Sources
T Orange County shall consider all available funding sources, including those at the State and Federal levels…. $29,116,392 granted to Florida ( ) School Alumni Associations Developer Contributions

27 What Can OCPS Do: Be Opportunistic
4. Review Proposed Road and Intersection Changes and Advocate for Student Pedestrians Propose narrow lanes, on-street parking, and other road engineering to lower travel speeds to 30 mph or less in front of schools and where students will likely walk Support bike lanes Support smaller curb radii for slower turns Support bump-outs to shorten crossing distance Consider roundabouts in lieu of road widening 5. Look for partners Plant free trees on Arbor Day on routes near the school Do “walkability checklist” with the PTA members Participate in land use and transportation planning exercises

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